Westpac Case: Cock Up Theory Vs. Conspiracy to Defraud

Some people have posted in the comments and on Twitter that they think that the Westpac case is a massive cock-up on the prt of the bank and essentially are enjoying the romantic notion that Mr Thief just took a golden opportunity to have a lend of a bank.

Unfortunately for them banks don’t work the way that they imagine, and from their musings their imagination would appear to be extremely limited.

The key to all this is that this was a dud account going nowhere. It definitely would have been on a refer list which means that each morning all transactions for the account could have been notified to the account manager.

Funds transferring have to be cleared, the timing involved is too tight for this chump to realise that they had made a mistake, reef all the money and send it offshore all without getting found out.

So look at it this way. This is what you have to believe for it to fit the cock up theory.

  • Day 1: Dud Customer going broke asks for more credit and gets it
  • Day 1: Overdraft loaded for $10,000,000.00 instead of $100,000.00, this would almost certainly have exceeded the authority of everyone at the branch level and required head office approval. Also presumes that the systems at Westpac allow Support Centre staff to actually load an O/D for $10,000,000.00 (Cock up 1)
  • Day 1: Overdraft loading checking misses mistake (Cock up 2)
  • Day 2: Customer notices mistake the very next day and thinks to himself I’ll have a bit of that just on the spur of the moment.
  • Day 2: Account manager misses that Dud Customer now has $10 million limit on O/D (Cock up 3)
  • Day 2: Sends in to the bank or goes in to the bank and fills out numerous forms to split up and transfer funds off-shore
  • Day 2: He needs to do all this before 3pm to have all transactions to occur on same day.
  • Day 2: All those forms get actioned sending all the funds offshore to different accounts.
  • Day 2: Customer books flights for next day
  • Day 3: Account manager misses all the transactions for up to $10 million on his refer list of dud customers (Cock up 4)
  • Day 3: Dud Customer checks all the money is gone. It won’t show overseas yet as it takes up to 3-4 days to pass through the processing bank to the receiving bank. This is important. Westpac may process its transactions through HSBC but he may have sent his funds to Who Flung Dung Bank. WFD bank doesn’t get the funds until HSBC ships them to them.
  • Day 4: Customer skips out
  • Day 4: Account Manager still doesn’t notice his customer is now over his arrangements (Cock up 5)

I don’t know about you but that is just too implausible. All of the Fraud managers and bankers I have spoken to today laugh at the mere suggestion of the cock-up theory.

This was setup and orchestrated by people working in collusion with Mr Thief. They knew the processes, they knew the systems and they knew just how long they had before alarm bells went ringing. Unfortunately for them they didn’t do this over a long weekend or holiday and so Westpac was able to reef funds back that were sitting with the processing banks awaiting clearance. If they had waited for this weekend they may well have got more.

Me, if I was going to do this I’d do it over Christmas/New Year or Easter and I would pass literally thousands of transactions through various banks and branches UPI/Suspense Returns Accounts and high transaction customers, assembling and dissembling before ultimately arriving in a good well established bona fide account ready for off-shoring. Then I would send it all using some strategies that I can’t blog about because to do so woulld break a few laws. of course for all this to succeed I would have identified a suitable insider to assist in the processing. Given the parlous pay bank staff get motivating them to assist would have been easy. Also given the terrible effect methamphetamine has on our society it would have been a simple case of identifying a meth-head bank staffer and “assisting” them with their problem.

Westpac probably don’t appreciate me being this forthright but then they should have thought about that 5 years ago when they decided to be a bunch of c**ts to me.

Cock-up or Conspiracy? you tell me, but I’m going with conspiracy.

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